Thursday, October 20, 2005

Discussion on NPR about Untouchables

There was a good program on NPR about the Caste System in India. The guest was Narendra Jadhav, born in a sub class, who is the chief economist of the RBI. I learnt through this program that Dr. Ambedkar played a bigger role in the movement to eradicate the class system than Mahatma Gandhi did. The Q&A session was very interesting; the major controversy being about the reservation in colleges. Some people from the Brahmin class argued that the reservation was unfair.

One point raised against the reservation seems to be that privileged people from the lower castes exploit the system to gain admission. A question was brought up asking Jadhav if his daughter took advantage of the reservation. He said that she didn't and he himself didn't do so himself after his education. It is true that many people from SC/ST with equal opportunities as others from different classes do get through due to the reservation, but it cannot be removed just yet. As one caller suggested, the solution is to probably base the system on both social and economic class.

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